Monday, February 16, 2015

Introducing TB Bond

From your regular author: TB is one of those friends I met because I simply cannot act like a civilized human being.

If I see someone reading a book that I've read and that I like, even though I know, deep down in my soul, that it is completely wrong of me to do this; I interrupt their reading to express delight that they're reading a book that I like. 

(I also met Elizabeth L. Brooks this way, so honestly, it's not going to discourage me from this reprehensible behavior...)

I don't even remember what she was reading, but we ended up chatting for a while and exchanging contact information. We've been to the movies a few times together, and done some social stuff, and then I find out to my delight, that she's also a writer. So, of course, when I started work on Coming Together: Among the Stars, I send her a "hey, look what I'm doing, want to submit something?"

I'll tell ya something, too. She wrote one of the best hate-sex pieces I've ever read. Great, great stuff and you should totally check it out, if you haven't already.

What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?

I have so many stories in my head. It’s a challenge getting them into a media where other people can enjoy them. I have a strange brain in that I am very analytical and whimsical. It makes it hard for me to communicate ideas sometimes because it’s either too in the “clouds” or it’s too complex. Sometimes I get ahead of myself and I make the oddest grammar mistakes. There are days when I wonder if English is my third language and if someone can create telepaths–because talking to people is so hard. Then there are others where it’s “boom, I nailed it”.

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

When I wrote my first ‘long’ story at twelve years old. I had watched the classic movie, The Bad Seed, and immediately set pen to paper when my ideas started to flow. The story was thirty pages and was about a teenage serial killer. I applaud my mom for not freaking out and for encouraging me to keep writing. So my inspiration started with movie murders and my mom.

Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why?

It’s a toss up between Shenanigans and The Sweetest Thing. Shenanigans was my first novel, so it has a special place in my heart. The Sweetest Thing has a funny memory attached to it. I had a fellow author accidently use my male lead’s name in her story in the middle of a love scene. Talk about your Freudian slips. I immediately thought of lyrics to an Alanis Morsette’s song– “…and are you thinking of me when you…” I’m sure you can figure out the rest

How do you decide on character names?

I select most of my names from people I’ve encountered (I use that term loosely). I’ve  also been known to also create names from my surroundings. I have a unusual name so I don’t mind my characters having one. I do have to make sure there’s a story or some sort of ‘response’ when other characters ask about the name in a story. The craziest name I’ve made to date is York Mint, the male lead in Love in a Space Elevator. His parents were space hippies– enough said.

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

I would say about a third of my life since I started writing professionally. I take elements of situation or a person and meld it with my characters. So an event in my book might be several things mashed into one or it may be someone else’s experience. I try to make sure someone I know can’t say, “Hey, that happened to me. Why did you do that?”

Plus, I am a fan of learning from other’s experiences, especially the bad ones.

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

I have a side series about a supernatural dating agency called Paris in Springtime (PST). It’s a series of one-shots about various couples paired by the PST matchmakers. It’s set in the world of the Love, Sex, and Magic series, but the characters from that series do not necessarily appear in Paris in Springtime. The fun thing about PST is that some couples don’t realize they are being set up due to the means PST uses.  One or both characters sign up with the agency, which boasts a 100% success rate, and then actions take place to get them together. Part of the magic of PST is they set up elaborate situations that make the couple fall in love on their own then send a bill.
In one of the stories I’m working on, Hunter’s Creed, the heroine is a vampire hunter and she believes she researching her next mark when in fact she’s falling for one of PST’s matches. You can check out an excerpt of Hunter’s Creed on my site

I’m having fun with the concept overall. There are three stories in the hopper for the series. I’m even working on a Christmas story where Santa meets his mate when she moves into the house next door to him.

What's your writing routine?

Honestly, I’m still trying to pin it to something consistent. Typically I run the scene in my head like a movie and then write a scene. Once, I tried listening to seductive music while blowing bubbles. I wrote two sexy, short stories using that method. I tried doing the same thing again and no dice.

What writers or novels do you consider “must reads”?

My taste in books is all over the place. I’ll read just about anything if the concept is interesting. I tend to read mostly romance, though when I was kid I only read murder mysteries and romance. I’m a bit tapped out in mysteries since I usually solve them early in book.

Jim Butcher is one my fave authors, I have almost the entire Dresden series and I have all of the Codex Alera series. I love his take on the supernatural. The writing is smart, amusing, and imaginative all things I strive for in my writing. I highly recommend him for lovers of paranormal and adventure.
For romance adventure, I recommend Larisa Ione’s Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series or Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. These series are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but very good reads and I love the world building.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Candy O'Donnell's Paranormal Suspense Novel, Psychic Perception

Author: Candy O’Donnell

Title: Psychic Perception
Series: Psychic Series
Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Publishing House: Crushing Heart & Black Butterfly Publishing


 As I stood over the bloodied, twisted corpse, my nerves tangled within over how to write the young woman’s tragedy, let alone tell her parents and the world about her. Horrendous images came to my mind of how to describe what happened to her; how it happened, the circumstances surrounding this case, and of course the perp’s name, whoever he might be. It was too daunting while thinking of my soon to be ex-husband.

My rigid body sat at the desk as I mulled over what to write. Mine was a sinister life, observing death through my psychic eye while seeing and feeling everything the victim was feeling. My reflections took me back to the haunting dreams that tormented me as I placed my hands on the keyboard and began to type. Inside my head, I knew where Faith would be found. It was not a pretty sight, but it was something that was a permanent part of my life. This need to know took place daily as my mind raced over what to think of next. How agonizing to believe that true evil was out there, waiting for any unsuspecting person to fall into its clutches.

I typed fast, and then slowed when an inaccuracy occurred. This assignment was not for the faint of heart, and those who might accomplish it needed to possess a hardened outer shell to protect them from the monstrosities that walked among us. Again, I relapsed into the past, and my musings directed my gaze to where I spotted the manila envelope from the lawyer’s office. I chose to ignore it, but could not. My hand lifted it up and I ran my fingertips over its smooth edge. It was something that I did with every piece of mail I received.

Shaking my head, I inhaled and tried not to allow my mind to wander. It needed to be focused on the task at hand, and my fingers began their dance along the keyboard once again. My hands typed what I had witnessed as my stomach did flops. So I continued on, because this job would never be finished if I did not believe that there was some good left in this world.
I began,

About the Author

Candy O’Donnell lives in California with her best friend Jim, and two enthused teenagers. This family also includes two happy dogs, a languid cat and an energetic cockatiel. At the age of twelve, she wrote her first mini book and has not looked back when her first title was published in 2007. Today, Candy writes whatever story crops up in her imagination and lately, she is including friends as cover models for her books. She composes numerous genres as a way of expressing herself fluently. Her early years were spent reading the works of Walter Farley, Stephen King, and other titles focused on history.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and culture in 2010 and she also has 6 grad units in criminal justice. After instilling herself in the family business, they are about to embark on a journey of merging with another.

Buy Link

Get your copy at Amazon

Twitter: @Candyodonnell

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Bonus Excerpt

I sat at my desk in the living room clutching the envelope, and my fingers shook at the thought of examining its contents. I tore it open, glancing over my name written in bold print at the top of the first page. The divorce papers did not make any sense at all to me; the thought of a divorce was something that I had never allowed to penetrate my mind. When confusion set in, I tossed the envelope aside and stared down at Faith’s picture lying on the wooden desk before me. The deceased young woman glared back with still eyes. I could still feel her from the day before when I had visited with Lorraine.

My mind began to wander through the windowpanes, where birds sang happily to one another in the mulberry tree swaying outside. A light breeze stirred while I was in my trance. The crushing weight of life had suddenly taken its toll on me, and I felt as if reality was slipping away when I heard the doorbell ring.

I jumped at its familiar sound and strolled toward the entrance of my cozy home to see who had decided to visit me so early…I was not expecting any visitors today. My heart thumped wildly after I flung open the large wooden slab to see my ex-husband, Steve, standing there with flowers clenched in his fist. I opened the door tentatively; I had recently learned of his violent background with his last girlfriend, the one before me. He had shown tendencies to slap and yell whenever he thought things were against him.

I could not inhale when he stepped over the threshold and offered me the sweet smelling lilies. He seemed to be waiting for something; he might have wanted me to say something that hinted that I wanted him back. “I want to wish you a happy birthday before the divorce is finalized.”

Monday, February 9, 2015

Terran Academy, Vol 1: Economics 101; The True Cost of Running an Empire

I'd like to talk a bit about my newest project, completely different (ok, well, sort of different) from everything I've done up til now.

First off, it's Young Adult... which I've never done before at all. While I've written some stuff that's not romantic--I've got a ghost story piece coming out "soon," in Local Magic--and there are a few non-romance pieces in Whetting the Appetite, I tend to be more comfortable working with romance.

Secondly, while there will be a sub-plot romance, it's more of a space-opera adventure story.

Third, my publisher wants outlines before I start writing.

So, those are a whole bunch of new things; I've written to spec before, but not like this at all. I'm a little nervous, but I'm having fun with the idea.

Today I spent quite a bit of time outlining the first installment; the idea is that in 2016, there will be one novelette released every four months, so three installments per year, of about 17,500 words each. And I wrote up character profiles for my main characters.

Thought I'd take a few minutes to introduce you to my main character, just to see what you think of her. Obviously, not all of this information will come out directly in the novel, and of course, it's all still preliminary. Characters often undergo some dramatic changes between planning and writing.

Ancet Grice - female - series 12 cloned human from Orion IV

Considered sub-human by genuine Terrans, Ancet Grice is the physical descendant of a genetically modified series 12 clone. In order to live on some of Terra's colonies, modified humans are sent to terraform. Once the planet is considered habitable by "pure" humans, the Series humans are collected, modified for the next planet, and sent off. Several hundred years ago, Orion IV's Series humans conducted a revolt against Terra. Terran resources were already stretched thin with war in other parts of the galaxy and after a brief war, Terra offered Orion IV peace.

Series 12 humans, sometimes called slummers, now have the same rights as other non-human species, but they are not allowed to emigrate from their home planet. Some other of the later series have managed to run away from their assignments to freedom on Orion, which is causing some vast over-population problems on Orion IV. Series 20 and later modified humans have genetically altered structure enough that they cannot survive without human intervention, and therefore are less prone to successfully migrating to Orion IV. Most of them die within a few months of escape.

Only within the last twenty years have slummers been able to compete academically for the coveted spots at Terran Academy. Ancet Grice is the first one who has made it through the difficult testing and interview process. She is anxious to learn but also terrified of being on Terra, a place her family and most of her planetfolk consider to be the very depths of Hell. Her parents are also worried that, once on Terra, she'll be drafted into service instead of actually attending the Academy; the demagogue of her planet insisted that she be allowed to attend; they hope to stabilize relations with Terra and eventually allow for freer travel through the galaxy, particularly to colonize, because of the population problems.

Because of the high population density on Orion IV, homosexuality is encouraged to prevent accidental pregnancies. On Orion IV, a couple has to have a license and pay a substantial mating fee in order to be able to have a legal child. This does not, however, keep a lot of people from having illegal babies.

Ancet is extremely intelligent, soft-spoken, and always wants people to talk out their problems. She freezes up in a combat situation, despite having a complete nano-neural work-up for warrior skills. Seeing someone she cares about being hurt will force-activate those skills, but she'll have extreme emotional fallout after.

Her genetic modifications include reinforced flesh, the ability to retain oxygen for lengthy periods of time, vastly improved survivability in extreme temperatures and analysis mods in her tongue for detecting chemicals. She was originally designed for cultivation; she can take soil samples and has an ingrained sense for living things, especially plants.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Advertisement that will be in Clockwork Magazine

Marketing, marketing, marketing...

This ad will run in a full page glossy from Clockwork Magazine, which is published both in e-format and in a print edition.

In other news, London Steam will come out in paperback in the end of February, should be a lovely book and Deep Breath, one of my original steampunk stories, will be available as an audio book from Nobilis Erotica Podcast.

Pretty, yes?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January in Review

For the last two years, I've done these Year in Review things around November because I get frustrated with my seeming lack of progress...

I know that sounds weird to people who view my output as some incredible thing--just remember, things look different from the inside--but I have a lot of trouble seeing what my life looks like. I feel like I spend a lot of time screwing around. And as a note, my house is still not even remotely clean, altho having just read about a fellow writer/editor's problems with hoarding, I can feel comforted that at least I don't have that problem.

In any case, I've been feeling a little slack recently and thought I'd go through and list what I've been up to for the last month...

Accomplishments in January

- I wrote about 10,000 words on Sins of Angels, not as much as I'd wanted to do, but the project--which is already contracted for publication in March of 2016, doesn't actually need to be finished until, meh, September? That'll give me enough time to get it edited, redrafted, and turned in by January of next year. (I just turned in the finished draft of Howling Bitch to my editor).

- I did a full second draft of Howling Bitch and turned it in.

- I spent some time in Facebook Jail (two weeks, to be precise) and I think it's really hurt Blues' sales... unlike Roll last year, Blues hasn't yet hit the best seller list. Which means people who haven't thought about the book since last year are still not thinking about it.

- I wrote a short story called How 'Bout Them Apples (5,600 words) and turned it in for a February 15th submission call.

- I wrote a proposal for Coming Together: Strange Shifters and got it approved. I'll be posting the call for submissions as soon as I get cover art. All proceeds will be donated to Bat World Sanctuary.

- I wrote 9 entries for this blog and probably another 6 for other blogs. I'm still technically on my blog "tour" but most of those posts were generated a week or more ago.

- I wrote 1,000 words on a side-story for the Rainbow Connection universe.

- I attended a convention and did almost exactly no work. I didn't even remember to drop off my business postcards on the tables around the dealer's room. Spoke briefly with my con-chair about MERW.

- I submitted a short story for an audio book

- Hosted and enjoyed a release party for Blues, and hosted an hour for Indie Author Support Week.

- solved two computer problems without resorting to turning it over to my more computer-savvy husband and saying "Here, fix this."

- read and reviewed 2 Indie novellas, read and reviewed one Indie Short story, read and reviewed one Hugo Award Winning Science Fiction novel.

- read 2 new romance novels just for fun, and re-read the 6 novels in those series, because I knew that was a goal I wasn't going to be able to keep. (Julia Quinn's Smith-Smythe Quartet and Sarah MacLean's Rules of Scoundrel series)

Goals for February

- write 20,000 words on Sins of Angels

- write short story, Cascade Failure, for March 15th submission call

- post and promote Coming Together: Strange Shifters

- finish Crank it Up short story, estimating ~5,000 words

- begin outline for Terran Academy, Economics 101; The True Cost of an Empire

- read and review at least 2 indie novels.

- read and review at least 1 book on my List of Shit that Lynn Must Read Because Her Friends Said So. (I still don't need book recommendations until I cut this list down by at least 50%)

- try to re-read less than 6 books this month because really, I have limited time and resources, and while I love re-reading, I also love reading fresh.

- clear off my dresser and dust my bed stand because. OMFSM, my room is a tiny pit and needs to be purged.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Introducing Delilah Night: Author of Love is a Virus

One of the best things to come out of working on an anthology like Coming Together (aside from the feeling of doing awesome things for charity) is the friendships that I've gained through the process. Delilah has become one of my darling Facebook Friends (she lives in Asia, so it's not like we can get together for coffee, although that would be cool...) and I'm really pleased to be able to introduce you to her today. 

What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?

The biggest challenge to my writing career is struggling to balance writing and parenting.  Do I go grocery shopping while they’re both at school, or do I write and accept the karma that comes from making that choice (two children both fighting over who gets to sit where in the grocery cart and then complaining when I put groceries in there with them). When my three year old won’t stay in bed, I can easily lose an hour of writing time putting her back down. Sometimes after a day of parenting, I’m exhausted and my brain can’t do anything more complex than stare at Netflix.

Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why?

Of my published stories, I’d have to say my favorite is “Love is a Virus,” and not just because it’s in Among the Stars.  I really like the eroticism of playing with power dynamics, and I love Saanvi and Lily. I love the kind of ending that changes part or all of what you think you know about the story.

Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story?

I can’t read “Renewal,” which was my first professional sale. While it’s a story that means a lot to me emotionally—a couple trying to find the spark again after becoming parents drew heavily from my own experiences—my writing style has evolved a lot in the past four years. When I recently tried to read it, I desperately wanted to pick up a red pen.

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

A lot of my experiences have ended up in stories. Not necessarily the sex, but the little details. In an upcoming story “Petticoats and Push-Up Bras” my main characters work at the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum, which I did in college. I’m in an interracial marriage, and you’ll notice that increasingly my characters are too. A scary encounter with a monkey in Cambodia has been written into my WIP set in Siem Reap.

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

My current major project is a novella set in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  RJ and Meg are ex-lovers who broke up six years ago. She thinks they’re having one last fling. He wants to win her back. Will he succeed, or are the wounds from the break-up too deep to overcome?

Since I just mentioned it, here’s part of the scene with the monkey. It’s a first draft section I haven’t edited yet, so please excuse the rough edges.

The man on the motorbike offered Meg a grape to give to the baby, who had now hopped from the bike back to the ground. She thanked him and gently held it out to the tiny monkey just as the motorbike rider had.
“That’s not a good idea. You should warn your lady,” Darany said. “Miss—”
A large monkey bared massive fangs, hissed, and reached for Meg’s grape. She shrieked and dropped it, stumbling back and away from the far less adorable adult.
“Weren’t you the one who handed me that book? No touch monkey and other travel lessons learned too late?” RJ forced his tone to remain calm even as adrenaline pumped through his body.
“Thanks for the reminder.” Warily, she looked at the large monkey. It had devoured the grape she’d dropped and was now scavenging for other food. She swallowed, squared her shoulders, and lifted her camera again. Meg gave the big monkey a dirty look, turned, and began to shoot the baby once more.
After a few minutes she spoke again. “I would’ve been fine. Probably.”

Delilah Night  is an American expat who doesn’t miss shoveling snow now that she lives near the equator.  She does, however, miss Target and Panda Express (and of course her friends and family). While her love of science fiction was inspired by “The Trouble With Tribbles,” it was Wesley Crusher of TNG who inspired her to begin writing erotica.  You can find her stories in Coming Together:Among the Stars, Other Days, Summer Loving, and Nine-to-Five Fantasies among others.